Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.
We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September.
72 - Anthony Beauvillier - LW
5 foot 11, 170 pounds
20 years old
Contract: $1.107m cap hit, signed through 2018-19 (RFA)
Season: 66 GP, 9 G - 15 A - 24 Pts, 10 PIM, 101 Shots, 13:01 TOI, 44.2 Corsi
Career: 66 GP, 9 G - 15 A - 24 Pts, 10 PIM, 101 Shots, 13:01 TOI, 44.2 Corsi
Anything that the Islanders got from Beauvillier felt like playing and winning with house money. At 19, he wasn't eligible for the AHL yet, so it was either another year of Juniors or a spot on the NHL roster. And unlike Mathew Barzal, who looked a more timid in his very limited look, Beauviller hit the ground running and stuck for an entire season.
Of course, it wouldn't be the Isles without a little start-and-stop with a prospect, and Beauvillier did find himself in the press box far more than some fans would have liked in the early going of the season. That loomed particularly large considering just how well Beauviller was playing possession-wise to start the season. He was among the Isles' top forwards in even strength Corsi and Fenwick at the season's onset, and although those numbers came crashing down to Earth before the season was out, Beauvillier's willingness to shoot the puck was something New York needed in their lineup.
I really liked how Beauviller seemed to get a little bit more of a nose for the puck, and I think his younger, fresher legs helped down the stretch. In March, he notched seven points (three goals, four assists) in 14 games. The question now is what is the next step?
Beauvillier is the kind of player that, with a subpar camp, could find himself on the roster bubble. And with Bridgeport an option this year, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could get a stint with the Sound Tigers if he doesn't keep the pedal to the medal like he has the last two camps. Personally, I don't think that will be a problem.
Beauviller's high hockey IQ, combined with the maturation of his game in the final month of the season should put him on the inside track, probably for a third line spot. And if he can take the next step this season, the Islanders will have some serious forward depth on their hands.
IPB Grade: B- Very quick out of the gate, then a slow down, with a flurry of a finish. But at just 20-years-old, the sky is the limit for Beauvillier.